School staff learns how to respond to an active shooter
COLUMBIA - A mid-Missouri school took steps to prepare for a school intrusion.
Blair Oaks School District hired Gray Ram Tactical LLC, to learn how to act during a school intrusion.
Gray Ram Tactical LLC instructor, Bret Brooks, taught the lesson.
They used the same active shooter scenario, but at different schools, the middle high school and middle school.
With Gray Ram tactical, instructors are hired to teach staff how to identify and react to dangerous situations.
Brooks said that teaching schools across the country is needed in todays society.
"In today's society with the number of active shooter and violent situations that we have across the country, we see that schools are often targeted, and its important that school staff understand and have the background knowledge to deal with those types of situations in order to protect lives and save the students that go to school there, " Brooks said.
The owner Dawn Brook and Bret Brooks are from the area.
Their two kids attend the Blair Oaks middle school.
They use their kids to put staff in the real life situation of a child being stuck in the hallways with the shooter.
“When you are physically hearing a child it plays with your emotions," Brooks said.
Brooks tells staff to teach kids what to do when they are stuck in the hallway.
“Kids need to be taught if their out in the hallway, the children need to be taught to run, run fight run, Brooks said, “They need to be taught to not be out in the open, to keep running.”
Blair Oak Superintendent Dr. Jim Jones said the training is necessary.
“One thing that we do is a lot of classroom lecture type training, when it comes to intruder and active shooter, what we wanted to do today is to heighten the stress level, ultimately when you are trained in a situation involving an active shooter, you usually revert back to your level of training," Jones said.
Stress, was part of Brooks' strategy.
"Trying to introduce a lot of stress without over doing it and overcoming the teachers that are involved in the training. We want them to understand what the training is like, we want them to understand what the training is like, we want them to understand what a real situation would incorporate," Brooks said.
The fake shooter had a gun and shot blanks filled with gun powder, so they could hear what a nearby shooter would sound like.
The activity included a shooter, staff running to classrooms, locking class room doors.
One tip Brooks gives schools is the use of intercoms.
Brooks said to announce where the shooter is located in the school.
“If the shooter is shooting the camera, he’s not shooting people-it's a way to delay delay delay, Brooks said.
Some teachers were designated teachers while some were assigned to behave as students.
Brooks also said when its a safe time to unlock doors.
“If you go from one shooter to three people saying its the police its probably the police, most active shooters are alone,” Brooks said.
The school does this annually, but Jones said its the first time they’ve done it this intense.
He also suggests that teachers know how to treat a gun shot wound, while paramedics are arriving.
Brooks said he wants people to know that the situation won’t be the end.
“You know I can deal with the stress and i’m going to be okay," Brooks said.
He wants the staff to know that the outcome isn't always bad.
“We don't want them to be harmed in any way psychologically. We don't want them to have the mental aspect that this is a loose loose situation. There's always a winning possibility," Brooks said.
The main takeaway, to Brooks, is having the thought process to handle situations.
"They have the proper mind set that should something bad happen in a violent situation occur that they can survive it, they know how to react to that situation, save there life and more importantly in some respects saving the lives of the children around them," Brooks said.
Jones said the school needs to prepare, because you never know when it could happen.
"We're not going to be one of those districts that says you know we didn't think it would happen here, its not a what if, its a when and every moment that passes we're one moment closer to an incident involving an intruder."